A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its Jan. 9 meeting and upcoming events for the city.
Parks building renos considered
As the City of Whitehorse continues with renos to its building at 139 Tlingit Street, officials are seeking city council’s approval to move forward with the procurement for planned energy upgrades.
The building in the Marwell area was previously the transit building before that department moved to the city’s operations building off Range Road in 2020. It will now serve as the parks building.
As Peter O’Blenes, the city’s manager of property management, told council in a report at the Jan. 9 council meeting, while the design work is done, a review of the costs will mean holding off on the biomass heating system plans. Other energy upgrades may go ahead.
The design includes options with cost estimates that will allow the city to select energy improvements while staying within budget, which totals $800,000 for the entire work to the building.
“The estimate indicated that, like other recent projects due to an active construction market, the total cost could exceed the city’s budget,” he said. “Therefore, if approved, administration would proceed with identifying the highest priority tasks and only completing those that give the city the best means to reduce energy consumption.”
Council will vote on whether to move forward with the procurement Jan. 16. If approved, it’s anticipated a contract for the work would be in place in April with the work to begin in May and completed by February 2024.
Snow equipment purchases eyed
It will likely be next winter before the city has the new snow equipment it budgeted for in the 2023 capital spending plan.
Tracy Allen, the city’s director of operations, brought forward a recommendation at Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 9 meeting that council approve moving forward with the procurement that will buy two graders, two loaders and two dump trucks.
“These 2023 procurement’s are being advanced without delay due to current long lead times for equipment, industry supply issues, and volatility in equipment pricing,” Allen said. “Based on the latest industry feedback, it is anticipated that the lead time for this equipment may be approximately 12 months from date of order.”
Council will vote on whether to go ahead with the procurement Jan. 16. Should council approve the procurement, tender documents would then be released this month with a contract expected to be in place in February.
Making travel plans
Mayor Laura Cabott and Coun. Jocelyn Curteanu could be making their way to Ottawa in February for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Sustainable Communities Conference.
A recommendation to approve the travel expenses for both council members to attend the conference was brought forward at council’s Jan. 9 meeting. The conference is happening from Feb. 7 to 10 and would also see the mayor meet with federal officials after the conference.
“This one really stood out as something that would be good for the city of Whitehorse,” Cabott said about the conference in speaking with reporters following the meeting.
Among the topics that will be featured are the environment, climate change, adaptation and reconciliation with First Nations.
Also planning to attend the conference is Coun. Ted Laking, who will be there in his role as president of the Association of Yukon Communities.
Council will vote on the travel expenses for Cabott and Curteanu Jan. 16.
Town halls will soon begin
Whitehorse city council is getting set to hear from residents with the city hosting its first town hall session of 2023 on Jan. 18.
It will be the first of three town halls that will be happening throughout the city over the next couple of months. The Jan. 18 session will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Yukon Transportation Museum.
The museum is wheelchair accessible and has a gender neutral washroom.
The town halls “offer residents an opportunity to share feedback on issues that impact them, meet and mingle with councillors, and hear the concerns of other residents,” the city said in a statement.